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The Rape of the Lock

Alexander Pope

Book Overview: 

The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope. The poem satirizes a petty squabble by comparing it to the epic world of the gods.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Th' advent'rous Baron the bright locks admir'd;
He saw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspir'd.
Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way,
By force to ravish, or by fraud betray;
For when success a Lover's toil attends,
Few ask, if fraud or force attain'd his ends.

For this, ere Phœbus rose, he had implor'd
Propitious heav'n, and ev'ry pow'r ador'd,
But chiefly Love — to Love an Altar built,
Of twelve vast French Romances, neatly gilt.
There lay three garters, half a pair of gloves;
And all the trophies of his former loves;
With tender Billet-doux he lights the pyre,
And breathes three am'rous sighs to raise the fire.
Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes
Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize:
The pow'rs gave ear, and granted half his pray'r,
The rest, the winds dispers'd in empty air.

But now secure the painted vessel glides,
The sun-beams trembling on the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Good shit. Pope's an awesome poet, one of the best ever in my opinion, though I prefer other poets for artistry. Pope is funny and writes perfect verse like you wouldn't believe. If I want emotion I go elsewhere, but Pope makes me LOL.

Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billet-doux.Pope brilliantly
presents this storm in a tea cup seasoned with satire,wit
and humor.I had actually memorized some wonderful verses in this text which now I have forgotten.Time to re-read it..

I find Pope's education, polish, and wit delightful. His poems are a world away from the emotionally-laden poetry of the Romantics or the rough, personal poetry of the modern era, but appreciate them for what they are. "The Rape of the Lock" is satire at its finest, brought off with a light touch...more

Brilliant in places, but not consistently so. The Essays on Criticism and on Man are excellent, and The Rape of the Lock is delightful, but I found the Dunciad to be tedious and meanspirited. In the latter work, one of the minor poets Pope is mocking is made to say:

As, forced from wind-guns, lea...more

oh, my satire class. it may have been painful, but you can't deny the genius of pope's work.

I only read The Rape of the Lock and loved how it was a great mix of wit and beautiful prose.

I only read "An Essay on Criticism" and "The Rape of the Lock". I wanted to like them more than I actually liked them. I think the fault is mine because they are clearly brilliant. But I just yawned and got distracted easily the whole time. I'll come back to this later. Maybe this just isn't spea...more

I think Pope is great with heroic couplets and words--that's all super lovely. I just had a harder time looking at this story comically. I couldn't get away from the theme of actual rape and the idea that Belinda doesn't control her own body. While Pope makes fun of the court's frivolity, he's al...more

Compared to the Nineteenth Century's Romantic movement and the Seventeenth's Shakespeare and Milton, the Eighteenth has always felt a veritable void to me. There was a little bit going on in France with Diderot and Voltaire, and some minor British works by Swift and Defoe, but by and large, Eight...more

What a genius this man is. A treasure to read and to have read.

"Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!"

"What, and how great, the virtue and the art,
To live on little with a cheerful heart!"

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"

"A knowledge both of books and human kind."

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